from the digital desk ofFake Four, Inc.andMikal kHill :
“Two Weeks Notice was originally proposed by Tribe One (Niles Gray) in 2015 in the same way most of my duo projects have started… we were doing shows together constantly and started hyping each other’s sets and eventually decided we should just create a project that way. Niles is known for taking an incredibly long time to write, once spending literally 16 hours agonizingly rewriting the same 4 bars at my kitchen table, but we managed to create our first album in two weeks, while simultaneously booking the tour. Ceschi asked us to create a Freecember release a few years ago and we had already been working on two LPs off and on since 2015 so we knew we had more than enough material. Once again, though, we found ourselves scrapping everything we had in advance and ground out 6 new tracks on the spot for our first Christmas-Day release as a duo. I think the result is an EP to speaks to our isolation in the age of COVID-19, our lives as fathers and husbands and also as two emcees still at the top of their game, over some of my best production. Thanks for listening.”
“Epochis an emotional record about being mentally compromised during COVID. I started writing Epoch in July of 2020 with production by Big Lo (Pensacola, FL). The goal was to document the feelings that kept revolving in my mind, all the terrible/beautiful thoughts wound together creating a timestamp for my depression. These feelings are valid and need to be nursed and if not faced they can become monsters you find under the bed. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to release this project for Freecember this year. It was a light at the end of the tunnel with so many detours in between, 2020 has been a challenge for all of us and I sincerely hope you find something in this project that will keep you going like it did for me. Thank you for listening, thank you for the support, peace love and light.”
Anthony Maintain, Virgil Wolfe, Two Weeks Notice (Mikal Khill and TribeOne) and myself recently joined K Death on the Moodhouse Podcast to discuss any and everything #FREEcember and Fake Four Inc. I could go into details here, but conversations like this are best experienced via direct listen. Check out the link above, or catch the Moodhouse Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts online.
I’ll let the homie Anthony Maintain break it all down…
“Ghost Pipes (Monotropa Uniflora): Herbaceous perennial plants native to temperate regions of Asia, North America and northern South America. Their lack of chlorophyll gives them their characteristic translucence which lead to the common names of ghost pipe, corpse plant, ice plant, and ghost flower. These rare heterotrophic plants can grow in near total darkness since, unlike photosynthetic plants, they do not draw nutrients from the sun. They instead pull sustenance from surrounding tree roots and forest brush via mushroom mycelium. This relationship is not symbiotic, it is more parasitic in nature. Though the ghost pipe does not contribute anything of known value back to it’s host, humans have discovered valuable uses for the plant. While the entire plant is technically edible, this is not the best use. Through extraction, M. Uniflora has been found to create an effective pain relieving tincture helping those with both physical and emotional suffering. It is said not to erase the pain entirely, but to put the person beside the pain in a more cognitive sense of acceptance.
These songs are ghost pipes for myself and others.” – Anthony Maintain
This year’s #FREEcember is off to a bang, and I am not only happy to know that Ghost Pipes can finally be heard by the masses, but honored to be sharing a split LP consisting of Anthony Maintain‘s EP on one side and mine on the other. You can download the digital album for free (or donate) at the links above, and if you choose so, you can pre-order our vinyl. Major shout out to Fake Four Inc. for helping make all of this happen!
Over the past 5 or so years, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Ceschi Ramos and become a member of the Fake Four Inc. family. With a roster full of underground heavyweights and close peers already on the docket, it is a HUGE honor to find myself as an official member now, courtesy of the first #FREEcember release of 2020, The Reclamation Project. During the course of 2020, a span of time where many people where given the opportunity to reflect on their life uninterrupted, I decided to take the process a step further by revisiting two of my previous instrumental releases : Slow Burnout and This Town Has Turned To Dust. I picked my favorite ‘beats’ from these albums, removed previously used elements, and approached them as traditional narrative-structure songs. I am very happy with the final result, and honored to have it be a part of Fake Four‘s yearly tradition. I even made some quick, low budget visuals to go with each song in preparation for Fake Four Fridays, which will air Friday, December 4th at twitch.tv/fakefourinc at 7 PM EST. For those unable to view the stream, or those who are impatient and want to see them immediately, I have created a non-presentational form YouTube playlist.
Download the album for free, donate if you can, and PLEASE share it around, as it would mean the world to me. Thank you in advance to those that do help, and have a great weekend to everyone!
It’s funny how ahead of the curve some MCs can be. Chris Conde released Conde Digital as a part of Fake Four Records FreeCember promotion, and nearly six months later, his second single Earth is so pertinent that it could have been written yesterday. Over an ominous, ambient, grimey track courtesy of Moodie Black‘s KDeath, Conde goes in with some extremely urgent and direct pleas to reason as he breaks down just how interconnected we are with the Earth against how neglectful we tend to be. Thanks to collaborator Wayne Fau, the message is delivered without Conde‘s signature visual flashes, instead opting for minimal effects and portrait-style presentations of Conde‘s vital message. Dig the video, leave a like and a comment if you’re feeling it, and share it around for all to experience.
For fans of independent hip-hop, December is a chance for Fake Four to bless us all with a gift-giving season known as FreeCember. This year, the homie Chris Conde sets it off with Conde Digital, a lyrical firestorm produced in entirety by Moodie Black. The combination of sounds works together, more than likely due to both artists being free spirits that are unafraid of (or possibly unaware of) boundaries or what they represent. This one won’t cost you anything but time, so definitely take advantage and cop it. Spread the gift around for others to do the same. And, above all, support your independent creatives.
Perseph One is having a killer December. Sip is the second video off of the recent Freecember release from Fake Four records, Machine Mammal EP. The clip finds her meditating in a trainyard, letting the Stephen Farris instrumental serve as the perfect roadmap for her lyrical explorations. I am excited to see what the future holds for Perseph One and Fake Four.
What a wonderful December it’s been for my independent creative peers. This Christmas Eve finds the homies at Fake Four releasing Nada Tengo by Chisme (also the homies) for Freecember Week 3. Seeing REL and Progeny release their collective boom-bap magic on the same label that has signed Alligator Food and Perseph One brings me joy of the highest degree for the Texas independent hip-hop scene. Maybe one day, if I get my musical act together in an evolved status, I may see about joining the movement. It should go without saying, but make sure to cop this project, and take a moment to make sure your friends do the same.
Anybody who knows anything about Texas underground hip-hop within the past decade or so has more than likely at least heard of Perseph One. She is one of those rare breeds of female MC where the female classification is an afterthought to the massive amounts of skill and forward thought she brings to the table. Unbeknownst to myself, Perseph One has found her way to the mutual homies at Fake Four Records, and her Machine Mammal EP is now the week 2 offering for their annual Freecember promotion. I am proud of her, happy to see my homies pick up such a skilled artist, and excited for the future of their union.